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Sections 6 and 7 were unanimously adopted.
HoN. B. N. BAKER, having been elected President of the National Conservation Congress, then took the chair and in accepting office, said:
I scarcely know what to say, in fact I cannot say anything, but you have elected me to this office and I should like to say that we can accomplish nothing for the good of the people if we do not have harmony to begin with. May I then ask everyone to sink any personal differences and let us get forward, because we have a lot of work to do and a lot of people to hear from, and I would therefore ask for your hearty cooperation in securing absolute harmony.
Sections 8, 9 and Io were then adopted unanimously and on the motion of Ex-Governor Pardee, duly seconded, the report was adopted in full.
COMMITTEE ON RESOLUTIONS.
CAPT. J. B. WHITE, of Missouri, Chairman of the Committee on Resolutions, in presenting his report said:
Your committee has given this report great thought and labored on it for a long time, and special recognition should be given to the sub-committee, of which Ex-Governor Pardee was chairman. The report will be read and I will move that same be adopted.
REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON RESOLUTIONS. To the First National Conservation Congress:
Your Committee on Resolutions have had under consideration a number of resolutions, proposed by delegates from several States, touching on the conservation of those natural resources which have made our country great, and which, if properly developed and conserved, will insure the perpetuity of our people. After full deliberation, the following are recommended for adoption by the Congress:
Resolved. That we urge active and earnest support by all citizens, and especially by all members of State Legislatures, of measures insuring liberal State aid in the prevention of forest fires and insect pests, and in promoting other lines of forest conservation.
We favor legislation looking toward the reforestation of such cutover lands as are not more valuable for other uses, and as will tend when reforested to conserve the waters and regulate the flow of streams; and we favor forest planting on waste lands, especially on the headwaters of streams. We urge the unification of State laws relating to woodlands and timber, and the adoption of a system of taxation under which woodlands will pay a moderate annual land tax and the timber will be taxed only when cut. - We urge on the States the enactment of comprehensive water laws, framed in accordance with the policy pursued in several Western States during recent years, incorporating the principle that the waters belong to the people. We hold that this right of the people is inherent and indefeasible. Recognizing the necessity for administering this invaluable possession of the people, we deny the right of State or Federal governments to alienate or convey water by granting franchises for the use thereof, for commercial or power purposes, in perpetuity or without just compensation in the interests of the people. Since the conservation of forests and waters is essential to the welfare of the people of all our States, and since the Forest Service and the Reclamation Service have initiated and carried forward the policy of conserving these great resources, we declare our endorsement of the aims and policies of these branches of the public service, and urge our Representatives in State Legislatures and the Federal Congress to give them adequate support. Realizing that the waste in mining, treating, and using our mineral resources and the loss of life in mining operations have reached national extent and importance, and concern the welfare of both present and future citizenship, we urge the Congress of the United States to establish a National Bureau of Mines, authorized to conduct such inquiries and investigations as will aid our citizens and States in lessening the loss of life and waste of resources in our mining industries. We hold that all natural resources belong primarily to the whole people and should not be alienated by municipal, State, or national grants or franchises to individuals or corporations except for a limited period. We commend the actions of President Roosevelt in creating, and of President Taft in maintaining, The National Conservation Commission; we consider the establishment and work of this Commission to mark a notable step in national progress; and we demand that the Federal Congress take early action toward sustaining that Commission or some equivalent agency for the public welfare in an adequate illanner. Since the Territory of Hawaii is approaching the limit of its ability to develop the natural resources along the usual industrial lines, and would be enabled to increase materially the number of American homes through a comprehensive system of irrigation, we urge the Congress of the United States to extend the Reclamation Act of June 17, 1902, to that Territory.
With a view to the better development of the resources within their borders, we demand of the Congress of the United States legislation at an early date providing for the admission of the Territories of New Mexico and Arizona as sovereign States of the Union.
Since the measure of the success attained by this Congress has been due to the initiative and enterprise of the Washington State Conservation Commission and the Washington State Conservation Association, and to the courtesies extended by the State, by the City of Seattle, and by the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, we signalize our hearty appreciation of these agencies and their respective officers; and recognizing the able efforts and personal sacrifices made by him during the past fourteen weeks, we tender a special acknowledgment to Richard W. Douglas as organizer of this Congress for the great public service freely rendered by him.
The adoption of the report was seconded by the Hon. A. B. Farquhar, of Pennsylvania.
HoN. C. H. HANFORD : As a member of the committee, I wish to submit a minority report, as follows:
The undersigned minority of your Committee on Resolutions concurs in the report submitted, except in so far as the same is suggestive of a change in national policy in disposing of the public domain of the United States whereby water rights will be held in reserve indefinitely, or disposed of subject to burdens not imposed on lands with appurtenant water rights, which have already become private property pursuant to the land laws enacted by Congress. Heretofore the policy has been to grant fee simple titles, the grantee paying only the specified price and thereafter paying tribute to the National Government, only, as other citizens and property owners do.
To apply a new rule granting less than fee simple titles, or subjecting the granted lands to the payment of perpetual rental or taxes into the National Treasury, will be unfair to those States and Territories in which the undisposed of public lands are situated, because it will subject them to burdens not shared by other sections.
The man who claims one man's share and no more of the natural resources of the country and is first to select it and bring it into beneficial use, has by natural, the first and best right to it, and that is the true principle of conservation. In recognition of that principle the following additional resolution is respectfully submitted for the consideration of this Congress: C. H. HANFORD.
Resolved, That this Congress views with gratitude the liberal national policy which encouraged the pioneers of this country to contend against savage foes and all natural obstacles by giving to home builders, miners and manufacturers a limited but sufficient amount of land, minerals, timber and water for actual and beneficial use. Under that policy the public domain East of the Missouri River, with all the natural wealth of minerals, timber and water power, has passed into private ownership. That policy, instead of being wasteful or extravagant, was founded upon the truest principle of conservation and has been vindicated by the subjugation of the wilderness; the maintenance of the American title to the Oregon country south of the 49th parallel; the rapidity with which our Nation has grown great and the general prosperity of our people in every section. Therefore, so long as public land of the United States, not especially adapted by nature for national parks, not required for any particular use by the National Government, nor for protection of the sources of water supply, nor for storage of water in mountainour regions, remains undisposed of, citizens who are bona fide homeseekers should not be precluded from selecting, occupying and acquiring perfect titles to land in sufficient quantities, to each, to yield under industrial use sufficient for the support of a family. And we oppose arbitrary reservations of public land for the mere purpose of preventing the beneficial use of timber, minerals or water.
Judge Hanford spoke in support of his minority report as follows:
Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen:
I do not consider that the only argument in support of this minority report is contained in the report itself, but it is the argument upon which I am willing to rest it for the judgment of this assembly. My object in speaking, briefly, is to make clear the exact issue which the minority have made with the report of the Committee.
I should have concurred in the report entirely if there had been left out of it the suggestion that the National Government should participate in the limitation of the use and the burdening of the use of natural resources. I am not here to oppose for a moment the exercise of the governmental power by States in the regulation and conservation of these resources and the imposition of proper and reasonable taxes. We have in this country a dual system of government, the National Government and the State Government, each within its own sphere is supreme. When each occupies its own sphere and operates within it, there is no danger of collision; but when both attempt to occupy the same field and to cover the same ground by laws and regulations, we are to get too much government for the general good. Now, in what way can the National Government restrict the acquisition of franchises and rights in the use of the natural resources of the country or subject them to the payment of compensation? It is only by reason of its proprietorship of the public lands of the United States. This controversy is to be confined strictly to the consideration of water rights for commercial and power purposes. The Committee in their report have restricted their recommendation to waters which may be used for those purposes. thereby eliminating every question with regard to navigable waters and waters for irrigation. The United States Government as proprietor of the public domain may put its hand on any part undisposed of and say: “This shall not be occupied except as now or in the future regulations prescribed or to be prescribed may limit the use.” In that way it is in the power of the National Government to restrict the use and to impose burdens. Yesterday at sunset the Olympic mountains were on parade. All of you who may have been looking to the westward from a favorable viewpoint doubtless admired that grand natural outline with its gorgeous tints of coloring at mountain top and sky. But those mountains contain more than a grand picture. They contain power. Their